Police officers and community members surrounded Inova Fairfax Hospital Sunday in an outpouring of support to mourn a female police officer murdered on her first day on the job.
Prince William County Police Officer Ashley Guindon, 28, was slain by an Army staff sergeant Saturday after she responded to a domestic violence call in Woodbridge, Va. The wife of the alleged shooter was also killed and two other officers were injured in the ensuing shootout, reports NBC Washington.
“It is a sad day for everyone in this room, A sad day for law enforcement,” Prince William County police Chief Stephan Hudson said at a Sunday press conference. “We extend our condolences to Ashley’s mother and extended family.”
Guindon served in the U.S. Marine Corp Reserve and passed basic recruitment school for the police department in June. She put her service on hold due to personal reasons, but was officially sworn into the police department Friday. Saturday was her first shift as an officer.
The killing is the latest in a string of tragedies that have affected the Guindon family. Guindon’s father committed suicide following a tour of duty in Iraq with the Air National Guard.
“This is really a shock to us,” Dorothy Guindon, Ashley’s grandmother told NBC4. “Ashley was such a nice person.”
Ronald Hamilton, a black 38-year-old Army staff sergeant stationed at the Pentagon in the Joint Staff Support Center is being held without bond on charges including the murder of a law enforcement officer. Officers David McKeown, 33, and Jesse Hempen, 31, who were injured in the shootout, are both recovering at Inova Hospital. Hudson said the officers have a lot of work ahead in their recovery, reports WJLA.
Hamilton appears to have shot and killed his wife, Crystal Hamilton, before officers arrived on scene. Officials found a 1-year-old boy at the residence who was unharmed. The shooting occurred at approximately 5:30 p.m. Saturday in Lashmere Court in Woodbridge, Va. Neighbors were shocked such an event could happen in their normally safe neighborhood.
“We heard three to four gunshots, so we started running, and then when we got up here we saw all the cops,” an anonymous witness told NBC4. “They told us to go inside.”
Another resident who spoke with reporters noted how she walks by the house every day and by all accounts the Hamiltons seemed like a happy family.
“I can’t believe this is my neighborhood,” neighbor Saher Jan told NBC4. “I was just in front of that house. I just couldn’t imagine that it happened right there. They seemed like nice people.”
Prince William County Police are in mourning Monday, draping Guindon’s police cruiser in a black ribbon and tweeting out, “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.” Community members have since added their own offerings and well wishes to the memorialized police car.
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